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  1. #1
    Fighting the good fight! gourimoko's Avatar
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    Question Diet and Workout Routines

    Okay people.. So a little background first. I'm 5'10, with what used to be a really solid muscular build but over the past decade turned into someone who looked like they were athletic at some point and weren't anymore. For awhile I was comfortable with that, but then shit got out of hand and I stopped looking like I used to be athletic and was just a fucking fatbody.. Fuck that shit.

    It's that transition phase man. I'm damn-near 30, and my shit just doesn't burn calories like it used to, so pounding beers and eating pizza doesn't cut it. So when I moved out to Hawaii I started eating more lean foods, more salmon and tuna, way less pastas and breads. Honestly, you can't find a Jewish Deli out here to save your life, so forget getting a decent sandwich -- it's not fucking happening (haven't had corned beef in a year!)

    So yeah, when I came to Hawaii I was pushing 235 lbs and felt disgusting. After calorie counting but still eating pleasant foods, in basically 10 months I lost 10 lbs, down to 225lbs.. Fucking joke. Still overweight. Now just so we understand, my frame is large (for my height), my shoulders very wide and I can easily bench more than I weigh - so I'm not like a butterball, I just have too much fat over my muscle and it looks bad.

    So in the last several months (and since I've lived alone, unfortunately...) I've been doing more intense dieting. Won't get into that unless someone asks because I've rambled on enough, but suffice it to say I'm now down to 195 from 225 in under 50 days. I will still be cutting for 8 weeks, 2 more in a near 90% protein caloric intake, and 6 in a 70/20/10 breakdown eating more natural foods. Remember: this isn't for "weightloss" but body-fat percentage reduction. I want to lose FAT with minimal catabolization of muscle tissue.

    The purpose of this post is to ask anyone out there about their particular workout routines, and how many carbs they take in to sustain high energy in the gym. Right now I'm working out 4 times a week (excluding 1 day of cardio -- not trying to get small so cardio is not a goal). My workout:

    Mon, Thurs (Upper-body):
    1. 4x6 Romanian Deadlifts (225lbs) (barbell)
    2. 5x8 Inclined Bench (225lbs) (machine)
    3. 5x8 Shoulder Press (185lbs, reduced cuz I'm tired at this point) (barbell).
    4. Mix of tricep workouts (dips, kickbacks, etc) until muscle failure (dumbbells).


    Tues, Fri (Lower-body):

    1. 3x8 Squats (400lbs) (machine)
    2. 4x10 Leg-Press (500lbs) (machine) *Fridays I do dropsets to failure.
    3. Hamstring curls iso'd, variable weight.

    Wed, Saturday: Rest.

    Sunday: Ride my bike long-distance.

    Okay so here's the problem. When I was young I would just go to Heights High and hit the gym everyday and do every exercise available without problems. So I really don't have a good idea as to what to do as a guy who's my age and in what proper order I should work what muscles. Should RDLs be the first thing I do when I walk in the door?? I'm also having a hard time in the gym because I'm low-carb. I just can't find the strength to get through even such a small amount of sets. Also I think my core strength is shit. When I do any free weight, the fucking bar (or even dumbbells) is shaking, my back is shaking, and I can't stabilize - even though I can lift the weight without major difficultly, everything is fucking wobbly! This is one of the biggest problems I'm having!

    Also, and most importantly, you'll notice I use machines heavily. It's because I have no spotter that can work around my schedule. So I can't do free weight barbells where I might fuck my shit up.

    So any advice on routines to increase core strength or the muscles that help me stabilize the fucking bar? Any advice would be great, period. Or whatever has worked for you to improve your upper-body (particularly chest, triceps and biceps) size and shape?

    And what about lats, I hear people talking about doing pull-downs...

    Greatly appreciate any help anyone may have.. Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Veteran Triumph36's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    well starting strength is the easiest way to increase core strength but the core of that is entirely barbell work. even if the weight seems light, have you tried lifting less? if only to get comfortable with the feel of free weights, form, etc.

    if that doesn't fix it, then i dunno. that's weird. lots of SSers (myself included) started absurdly weak and still didn't have shaking issues.

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    Fighting the good fight! gourimoko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    Quote Originally Posted by Triumph36 View Post
    well starting strength is the easiest way to increase core strength but the core of that is entirely barbell work. even if the weight seems light, have you tried lifting less? if only to get comfortable with the feel of free weights, form, etc.

    if that doesn't fix it, then i dunno. that's weird. lots of SSers (myself included) started absurdly weak and still didn't have shaking issues.
    Yeah, I thought lifting less would help too.. But it really doesn't help that much.. I have terrible stability issues with all free weights.. One of the trainers at the gym said the "secondary muscles that help stabilize my lifting are weak from not working out over the years." I don't know wtf a "secondary" muscle is. Not saying he's wrong, not at all.. It's just not my forte, and I'd like to know more, but all the research I've done leads to completely different conclusions..

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    Kouki, Not Cookie. IWantAKouki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    Trainers are full of shit (for the most part).

    You really should be doing a strength-based barbell routine. You can do them without a spotter, granted I don't know how bad your balance/shaky issue is, but I progressed fine without a spotter on squat/bench. Your core (stability) muscles are probably all shit BECAUSE you are avoiding free weights. NOTHING trains your core better than a good strength routine, especially squats and deadlifts.

    Also what is your diet split? 70/20/10, what is that?
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    Situational Stopper boxxer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    I am similar to you in that I have a wide frame, muscle up quickly but suck with core strength. Mainly because I hate ab work.

    However you don't get good core stability without focusing more of your workout on core strength.

    I recommend 3 days a week, eliminate one excercise and include a couple core pieces. MensHealth has a good free app with some workouts that include corework. I would check that out for some ideas on what to do......

    Ab work fucking sucks..

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    Kouki, Not Cookie. IWantAKouki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    That's why you don't do ab work, you do full-body exercises like squats and deadlifts.
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    Fighting the good fight! gourimoko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    Quote Originally Posted by IWantAKouki View Post
    Trainers are full of shit (for the most part).

    You really should be doing a strength-based barbell routine. You can do them without a spotter, granted I don't know how bad your balance/shaky issue is, but I progressed fine without a spotter on squat/bench. Your core (stability) muscles are probably all shit BECAUSE you are avoiding free weights. NOTHING trains your core better than a good strength routine, especially squats and deadlifts.
    I do the deadlifts with free weights and the squats on the machine (no spotter). But I just recently started lifting again after quite a long hiatus.. The shakiness is something I've never experienced, and is worrisome and is why I've been avoiding transitioning more of my workout to free weights, especially barbells.

    But any workout routine you can recommend, from start to finish? I am doing the RDLs and Squats but on different days.. Any advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by IWantAKouki View Post
    Also what is your diet split? 70/20/10, what is that?
    70% protein, 20% carbs, 10% fat, that's the macro ratio I'm transitioning to come Feb 1st. Right now, I'm floating around 80% protein because I'm still cutting. As I've said, I've lost 35 lbs in basically 6 weeks this way but it's grueling.. Come Feb 1st, my carb intake will double so I'll have more energy. Come March 16th (arbitrary but a goal nonetheless), I plan to double carb intake again to 40p/40c/20f, and see if I can maintain a weight around 170-175. I am not looking to go below 170 lbs, as I want to retain my strength and size.

  13. #8
    1234567890 Numbers Guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    Have you thought about trying P90X? If you're confused as to what you should be doing to strengthen muscles, or proper form, daily routines etc. you won't regret buying this. I've used it and not only did it get me in great shape, it adds a ton to your knowledge coming from a guy who was a bit clueless in the past and just randomly lifted.

    Also - if you are struggling with energy in the gym, make sure you take a pre workout supplement along the lines of ACG3, Jack3d etc.
    Last edited by Numbers Guy; 01-13-2012 at 08:02 PM.

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    Fighting the good fight! gourimoko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    Quote Originally Posted by Chich292... View Post
    Have you thought about trying P90X? If you're confused as to what you should be doing to strengthen muscles, or proper form, daily routines etc. you won't regret buying this. I've used it and not only did it get me in great shape, it adds a ton to your knowledge coming from a guy who was a bit clueless in the past and just randomly lifted.
    My brother did P90X and "Insanity" workout.. It worked for him, but his goals and mine are different. He merely wanted to get leaner and smaller. That isn't my goal at all. I want to stay the exact same size, but lower body fat percentage. Basically, I want more muscle and less fat. I will say that P90X got my bro down from a 44" waist to like a 34" waist in a matter of months.. But again, I'm measuring my bf% as well as overall strength.. My waist was a 40" and is now at 36", but it wasn't really ever a concern because I don't really have a protruding stomach (wide frame) or obvious fatty sides. I do have some love handle though, which is annoying.

    P90X seems more like cardio and endurance training than strength training.. Would you agree with this assessment? Mind you, I've never done it though.

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    Kouki, Not Cookie. IWantAKouki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    What makes you think you need to have a 70/20/10 split?

    From what I know, some shakiness is perfectly normal. I used to be shaky to, especially on bench, until I (presumably) worked the stabilizer muscles more (I think this is what the trainer was talking about when he said "secondary muscles")

    If you can squat in a squat/power rack, you can always set the pins so that if you miss a lift then you can just drop the barbell on them. And with any of these lifts since you are just getting back into it you should start our light even though you won't think you are getting a "good workout"....you will be building up those stabilizer muscles...

    P90X is okay and all if you feel that you need to follow a routine like that, but the time dedication is pretty ridiculous and you won't build much functional strength compared to a three-times-a-week strength routine. Plus I've heard that P90X actually contains some dangerous lifts in it...

    I don't have the body to back it up myself since I let myself go (school + work), heck you are a lot stronger than me I'm sure, just telling you what's worked for me...but I have spent a ton of time reading about the subject. Read Rippetoe's Starting Strength a few times. Good book. I was using the routine to build up strength (and weight) over the course of a year....gained maybe 30 lbs in a year, then decided to lose a bunch of the fat I gained. Didn't do any cardio mumbo jumbo, just went on a low-carb, high-fat diet of like 2500 calories a day, and dropped 30 lbs in a couple months. Granted that was when I was 22, so your results may vary.
    Last edited by IWantAKouki; 01-13-2012 at 08:12 PM.
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  18. #11
    1234567890 Numbers Guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    Quote Originally Posted by gourimoko View Post
    My brother did P90X and "Insanity" workout.. It worked for him, but his goals and mine are different. He merely wanted to get leaner and smaller. That isn't my goal at all. I want to stay the exact same size, but lower body fat percentage. Basically, I want more muscle and less fat. I will say that P90X got my bro down from a 44" waist to like a 34" waist in a matter of months.. But again, I'm measuring my bf% as well as overall strength.. My waist was a 40" and is now at 36", but it wasn't really ever a concern because I don't really have a protruding stomach (wide frame) or obvious fatty sides. I do have some love handle though, which is annoying.

    P90X seems more like cardio and endurance training than strength training.. Would you agree with this assessment? Mind you, I've never done it though.
    It's a mix of all 3, cardio, endurance, and strength, which is why it is so effective.. It's not for every body.. but it got my endurance and strength up a ton in such a short span. I believe there was a P90X thread awhile ago on here.. I think Jigo.. or someone along those lines went through it.. so maybe they can do a better job pimping it.

  19. #12
    Fighting the good fight! gourimoko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    Quote Originally Posted by IWantAKouki View Post
    What makes you think you need to have a 70/20/10 split?
    College experience. I wrestled through high school and college and when I needed to cut, it worked like a charm. It's just something that I know works and is somewhat easy to follow for me because I have the macro down to a science in my head. Now if I could transition to a 40/40/20, I'd be in fucking bliss, but my metabolism hasn't been that high in years and back then I was lightweight on gear with Andro and test boosters and shit like that before it was illegal.

    Quote Originally Posted by IWantAKouki View Post
    From what I know, some shakiness is perfectly normal. I used to be shaky to, especially on bench, until I (presumably) worked the stabilizer muscles more (I think this is what the trainer was talking about when he said "secondary muscles")
    I hope this is the case and that the problem will resolve itself after repeated workouts..

    Quote Originally Posted by IWantAKouki View Post
    If you can squat in a squat/power rack, you can always set the pins so that if you miss a lift then you can just drop the barbell on them. And with any of these lifts since you are just getting back into it you should start our light even though you won't think you are getting a "good workout"....you will be building up those stabilizer muscles...
    RDLs I feel almost perfectly safe.. Squats free-weight.. Dunno.. I use the squat rack machine (whatever it's called) and it does have the pins.. But this is again on a rail and doesn't allow me to wobble the bar so much. If I were using a straight barbell I think I'd drop the fucker on my neck!

    Quote Originally Posted by IWantAKouki View Post
    P90X is okay and all if you feel that you need to follow a routine like that, but the time dedication is pretty ridiculous and you won't build much functional strength compared to a three-times-a-week strength routine. Plus I've heard that P90X actually contains some dangerous lifts in it...
    P90X seems intense, but very time consuming. I also don't know if the gains are of the type that I'm looking for, which are gains in muscle volume, size, and most importantly strength; rather than leanness and reduced fat. I can cut fat like fucking water..

    Quote Originally Posted by IWantAKouki View Post
    I don't have the body to back it up myself since I let myself go (school got to me) but I have spent a ton of time reading about the subject. Read Rippetoe's Starting Strength a few times. Good book. I was using the routine to build up strength (and weight) over the course of a year....gained maybe 30 lbs in a year, then decided to lose a bunch of the fat I gained. Didn't do any cardio mumbo jumbo, just went on a low-carb, high-fat diet of like 2500 calories a day, and dropped 30 lbs in a couple months. Granted that was when I was 22, so your results may vary.
    Yeah, I'm not a cardio guy either.. It's never come easy for me and is one of the many reasons I prefer to watch basketball than play it. I let myself go over the course of two failed relationships, 3 kids, 10 years, and a love for Italian food. I got no time left to fuck around.. So once the last bitch left, I said fuck it and just started pouring my time into getting physically fit among other things...

  20. #13
    Fighting the good fight! gourimoko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    Quote Originally Posted by Chich292... View Post
    It's a mix of all 3, cardio, endurance, and strength, which is why it is so effective.. It's not for every body.. but it got my endurance and strength up a ton in such a short span. I believe there was a P90X thread awhile ago on here.. I think Jigo.. or someone along those lines went through it.. so maybe they can do a better job pimping it.
    How often a week and for how long do you work out?

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    Team Player Funny Man Rocco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    Quote Originally Posted by gourimoko View Post
    I do the deadlifts with free weights and the squats on the machine (no spotter). But I just recently started lifting again after quite a long hiatus.. The shakiness is something I've never experienced, and is worrisome and is why I've been avoiding transitioning more of my workout to free weights, especially barbells.

    But any workout routine you can recommend, from start to finish? I am doing the RDLs and Squats but on different days.. Any advice?



    70% protein, 20% carbs, 10% fat, that's the macro ratio I'm transitioning to come Feb 1st. Right now, I'm floating around 80% protein because I'm still cutting. As I've said, I've lost 35 lbs in basically 6 weeks this way but it's grueling.. Come Feb 1st, my carb intake will double so I'll have more energy. Come March 16th (arbitrary but a goal nonetheless), I plan to double carb intake again to 40p/40c/20f, and see if I can maintain a weight around 170-175. I am not looking to go below 170 lbs, as I want to retain my strength and size.
    The best advice has already been given. You should really start out with the Starting Strength routine. The only way you're going to get rid of that shakiness is to get under a barbell and this is the perfect starter routine. I started out with starting strength when I was really weak and I eventually moved on to Westside for Skinny Bastards which is a more intermediate program.

    I'm curious as to what squat machine you're talking about? If its the leg press then it is not a substitute for squats and there are really no substitutes for squats. Also, start using the barbell for deadlifts, it may take a while of using light weight to get the right form but they are so worth the time to learn. Personally, I do RDLs on the same day as my squat day, I then have a deadlift emphasis day where I do squats as an accessory. Looking at your upper body day, I would add a pulling movement, like a barbell row or really any other kind of row.

    The barbell shakiness will only go away by using a barbell so I would highly consider doing Starting Strength and then moving onto something like Westside for Skinny Bastards or 5/3/1.

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  23. #15
    Kouki, Not Cookie. IWantAKouki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Diet and Workout Routines

    P90X doesn't have any barbell exercises, does it? If not, then there's no way it has a "strength" section...you just don't build real strength without full body barbell exercises.

    And the Smith machine (the squat machine on rails) isn't really good for you...and it also prevents you working your core. That's the best thing about the squat. It isn't just a leg exercise, it works the entire body, especially the core. Same with deadlift to a lesser extent.

    As for the diet thing, eh...like I said I'm just saying what worked for me, but the weight just melted off easily when I was on my "diet" (which was barely a diet at all). Eggs and a potato/apple for breakfast, big meaty salad for lunch, a protein shake after a workout, meat and veggies for dinner, and snack on nuts. Never felt hungry.
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